I’m a bit alarmed by the length of my to-do list today. So here’s a short and sweet post with a time-saving tip for mince pies.

Most years I make our mincemeat using this excellent recipe from Delia Smith. This year I made the mistake of thinking I didn’t have time and buying some instead. Even though it was quite posh stuff from an upmarket store, it was still revoltingly sweet. If you are in the same boat, be reassured that you can rescue it. Here’s what I did, roughly following a suggestion in one of Nigella Lawson’s books. I tipped the contents of two jars into a mixing bowl and grated in the zest of about half an orange and half a lemon, together with about half a peeled cooking apple. Then I added about four tablespoons of brandy and a generous handful of flaked almonds. Not quite as good as the real thing, but almost.


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